Indie Review - The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

The Binding of Isaac is a dark roguelike action RPG that is a blast to play. Playing the game is tough because of all the enemies that have different attack patterns than can be on your screen at the same time. This game is all about getting lucky with items that work together to make you an unkillable powerhouse.


Story

The main character, Isaac, and his mom were happy in their small house. Isaac spent his time drawing and playing with his toys while his mom watched Christian broadcasts. One day, his mom heard a voice who she refers to as “My Lord.” The voice tells Isaacs mom that he is full of sin and must be taught a lesson. Isaacs mom locks him up in his room and takes away everything from him, But the voice says this is not enough. She needs to prove her devotion to this voice one more time and must sacrifice Isaac. Isaac hears this and tries to find a way to escape when he finds a trapdoor that leads into the basement, where he falls into the basement where he has to fight monsters to try and escape.

Gameplay Basics

The main mechanics of the game are simple. You walk around to avoid enemies. The primary way you can hurt your enemies are your tears. You can shoot your tears while moving around, and they carry momentum from moving around. After finishing a room, you can pick up any items that have dropped. The four common items are coins, bombs, keys, and hearts. Coins come in pennies, nickels, and dimes. Hearts regenerate your HP. There are half hearts, full hearts, and double hearts, which heal you their respective amounts. Not only are there red hearts, but there are the blue soul hearts that add on to your hearts. There is a catch, though, as these hearts will go away after you lose them. There are also black hearts that do damage when you lose a full heart. Keys allow you to enter item rooms after the first floor. A floor key has a small chance of dropping when finishing a room. Bombs can be used to hurt enemies or used to break rocks. When it comes to rocks, it’s a good idea to save the bombs for the darker, tinted rocks, which drop more items. You can also find trinkets that can change many aspects of the game, from your tears to how items react to you, but you can only carry one trinket at a time.

Playing the game

When you start The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, you go in to choose a character. All of the characters can be unlocked by playing the game in different ways and with various items. All of these characters have different starting attributes and items. When you start the game, the first floor is generally pretty easy, since you get a free item room to start you off. To go to the next floor, you need to find the boss room. After defeating the boss, an item will appear to help you on the next floor. If you do not take any damage to the floor after beating the boss, an extra room will appear in the boss room. This room is the devil deal room, where you can trade your health for helpful items. To go to the next floor, you enter the trap door that appears. For all the floors after the first, you need to use keys to enter the shops. After being on the third chapter, you make your way to Mom, where you have to fight her as the boss. If you beat mom within 20 minutes, you unlock an extra room that has four items. After you choose one, all the other items will disappear, and you must fight bosses to continue to the next floor. After beating the bosses, you get another item. You then proceed to the womb levels where you take a full heart of damage instead of half a heart. Enemies also become much more dangerous. Building your way up, you make your way to fight your moms’ heart.

Art

The Binding of Isaac Rebirth is a 2d game that has a very creative art style, which is dark, but also comedic at times. The menus use a paper background that is penciled in. There are nice little effects in the map like little flies buzzing around and other particles. The tears also have nice effects when they crash into objects or run out of range. All the items picked up are fun and unique, and you can tell what the item is without having to get close to it. The enemies are gross and scary. Even the cute little poop is out to get you.



Music and sound

Every floor and chapter have a different soundtrack. Each enemy also has their own unique sound. Different items that can be picked up change the sounds of tears, or the sound you make when you get damaged. Some items have fun voice lines when you use them or pick them up.

Final thoughts

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is an amazing game that is full of replay value thanks to its infinitely many item combinations. It’s hard at first trying to learn the patterns of enemies and bosses, as well as what the items do and what they work well with. Once you get the hang of it, however, you will be completing levels like nothing. This game is the type of game you could play for hours and wonder where your time went. Not only is the game expansive, but there are 2 DLCs adding many more floors, goals, and bosses to fight. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is available for PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo switch, and Phones.





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